Mark Fry

[ Filmmaking : Lowfi Noire ]

 
 
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"Lowfi Noire"
23 November 2009

Experiments in digital film grain: capturing, creating and compression.

The video "Lowfi Noire" is a brief study looking at photo ISO digital film grain, consumer grade digital video and trying to maintain that grainy look when converted into streaming web video (YouTube H264).

The lighting conditions for the shoot were what you would find in an average lounge; a few lamps and the cool glow of the television.

The first segment was shot on a Canon IXUS 75 using continuous-shot mode (ISO 1600). In this mode I was shooting at about 1 frame per second. The images sequence would later be retimed in Premiere. The ISO 1600 shots were the baseline for grain in the tests.

The second segment was shot using the IXUS's movie mode with some extra grain added in post.

Near the end of the video there is a brief Maya animation rendered in mental ray. All grain was added in post along with image post processing to better match the style of the IXUS.

After various tests the final sequence was compressed to AVI with the Cinepak Codec by Radius (using the "Compress to Black & White" option) and then converted to H264 at 5000kb/s.

 

 

IXUS 75
continuous-shot

 

IXUS 75
movie mode

 

Maya mental ray
+ post processing

 

Click a thumbnail for the high resolution images comparing video compression

 

The images compare different video compression formats:

  • AVI (Cinepak)
  • MOV (H264 @ 5000 kb/s)
  • MP4 (H264 @ 615 kb/s)

As well as different types of footage:

  • IXUS 75 ISO 1600, continuous-shot mode at 1 frame captured per second
  • IXUS 75 movie mode
  • Maya mental ray renders with grain added in post
 
     
 

 

Copyright Mark Fry. All rights reserved.

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Music used under CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE
Music by: Derek R. Audette